February 03, 2005

The Tragedy of No Tragedy

Hamlet is going through a personal renaissance on Wellbutrin. The reconciliation between him and his uncle had everyone in tears. He and Ophelia laugh about the little spats they have over the details of their wedding plans. With her support, he’s finally returning to school to complete his philosophy degree. His family connections should get him a job as a marketing ethicist with one of the best firms in London.

Lear is as comfortable as can be expected in assisted living. Goneril and Regan chip in to get him the best care money can buy. He complains they don’t visit enough, but that’s the way old people are. You should see, he’s even learning how to use a computer. He loves this one game where you have to fight your way past all kinds of villains before you can enter the castle and get crowned king. Cordelia? Happily married to a filthy–rich French guy. Her kids are all completely bilingual. She sends pictures, keeps in touch by email.

Othello is the most popular guy in his anger management group. A natural leader, he helps the other guys with their problems and it helps him work on his own. Desdemona says that once he finishes the course, she’ll consider lifting the restraining order. That Iago guy keeps getting transferred from base to base—the less said about him, the better.

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth hold hands each morning while saying their daily affirmations. “It’s okay to be a general, I don’t have to be king.” “I am complete in myself, I don’t need to live through my husband.” They’ve developed their own consumer tool, the Macbeth Blessing, to help other couples. They’re always traveling, recording CDs and writing workbooks, appearing on TV and radio. People who’ve attended their intensive seminar say, “It’s the most life–changing, dramatic two hours you’ll ever spend.”